Tonight Meghan (and subsequently, Charlotte), Abigail and I had the opportunity to celebrate Shabbat Dinner with one of my coworkers, who happens to be Jewish, and her family.
Shabbat is the seventh day of the Jewish week, the day of rest. Shabbat begins on Friday evening and is commenced with a dinner. On Shabbat, Jews recall the biblical creation account (Gen 1-2) in which God spoke the world into existence, creating the Heavens and the Earth in six days and resting on the seventh day. For Jews, Shabbat is a festive day when Jews are freed from the regular labors of everyday life. It offers them an opportunity to contemplate the spiritual aspects of life and spend time with family.
We began our Shabbat dinner by lighting 2 candles after which the women of the family recited a blessing in Hebrew. Next, Cori’s dad read a Hebrew prayer over the wine (which Meghan and I did not drink…but Abigail had a few sips) and then said another prayer over a loaf of challah bread. After the prayers and blessings, the meal began…at which point I became most helpful :) We ate salmon, spaghetti squash, potatoes, chicken, and cauliflower (all kosher, of course…and awesome!). There was an hour interval before a dessert of brownies. Traditionally, the interval would have been closer to six hours to give time for the meat digest so that it would not mix with the milk that is in the dessert (since this would not be kosher). But, we just waited an hour :) and enjoyed the brownies with some awesome hot tea.
The evening was wonderful! We talked, we laughed, and we silently snickered as Abigail ran away terrified from their huge black dog all night.
Meghan and I saw this as an opportunity to practically live out 1 Corinthians 9:22.
Below are a few pictures from our evening